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Gaza: Palestinian groups fire rockets at Israel after prisoner's death

Rare rockets claimed by Joint Operations Room leave at least three people wounded
Rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel, 2 May 2023 (Reuters)
Rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel, 2 May 2023 (Reuters)

Palestinian armed groups fired rockets towards Israel on Tuesday following the death earlier in the day of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who was on hunger strike in an Israeli prison.

The Joint Operations Room (JOR), an umbrella body of armed factions in Gaza including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the rocket volley that left at least three wounded in Israel, according to medics. 

The Israeli military said it identified 21 rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel, with only four of them intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Rockets hit residential areas in Sderot and other towns near the fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance service, said three people were wounded. One person was seriously hurt by shrapnel while the other two, who were identified as foreign nationals, were lightly wounded. 

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Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said after a short security assessment: “Anyone who attempts to harm the citizens of Israel will be sorry.”

Tensions spiked after the death of Adnan in an Israeli prison after nearly three months of hunger strike.

Adnan, a member of Islamic Jihad, had been on hunger strike in protest at his detention since 5 February, when he was arrested at his home in Arraba, a town in the occupied West Bank south of Jenin. 

News of his death prompted calls for a general strike and protests across Palestinian cities. 

Rockets were initially fired from Gaza in the morning but landed in open areas and were not intercepted by the Israeli defence system. 

The Israeli military hit back with tank artillery fire, hitting several locations inside Gaza. 

The projectiles fired in the afternoon were claimed by the JOR, which rarely makes statements outside of wartime with Israel. 

"The Joint Command mourns the martyr [Khader Adnan] and claims responsibility for bombing the so-called settlements near Gaza by salvos of rockets in an initial response to this heinous crime," a statement issued by the group said.

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